Senate Inquiry into ADHD

About the Senate Inquiry

On 28 March 2023, the Australian Senate referred an inquiry into the Barriers to consistent, timely and best practice assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and support services for people with ADHD to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry.

As outlined in the Terms of Reference, the inquiry looked into:

  • adequacy of access to ADHD diagnosis;
  • adequacy of access to supports after an ADHD assessment;
  • the availability, training and attitudes of treating practitioners, including workforce development options for increasing access to ADHD assessment and support services;
  • impact of gender bias in ADHD assessment, support services and research;
  • access to and cost of ADHD medication, including Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme coverage and options to improve access to ADHD medications;
  • the role of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in supporting people with ADHD, with particular emphasis on the scheme’s responsibility to recognise ADHD as a primary disability;
  • the adequacy of, and interaction between, Commonwealth, state and local government services to meet the needs of people with ADHD at all life stages;
  • the adequacy of Commonwealth funding allocated to ADHD research;
  • the social and economic cost of failing to provide adequate and appropriate ADHD services;
  • the viability of recommendations from the Australian ADHD Professionals Association’s Australian evidence-based clinical practice guideline for ADHD;
  • international best practice for ADHD diagnosis, support services, practitioner education and cost; and
  • any other related matters.

The Senate Inquiry received 701 submissions and held 3 public hearings.

Read the Senate Inquiry’s final report, which was released 7 November 2023.

Our submission

 

On 9 June 2023, we lodged our Understanding ADHD: Breaking down barriers to ADHD communities thriving submission to the Senate Inquiry.

Our submission focus on 5 key areas for recommendation:

  1. Remove barriers to assessment and diagnosis
  2. Invest in training and awareness for people with ADHD, their families, carers, doctors, teachers, employers, justice system workers and the general public.
  3. Improve access to treatment and support
  4. Increase funding for early intervention, research and nation system coordination.
  5. Allow access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

We also gave evidence at their public hearing, speaking directly about the barriers facing people with ADHD, their families and supporters.

 

ADHD Community Submission

 We ran a survey from 31 May – 7 June 2023 to hear from the Australian ADHD community to inform our submission and give people a platform to share their stories and drive change.

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey – we received over 650 responses from people with ADHD, their supporters and the wider community.

We have captured these valuable experiences, feedback and recommendations in our ADHD Community Submission Report and provided all the survey responses to the Senate Inquiry for their consideration.

 

What happens next?

 

The Australian Government has yet to provide their response to the 15 recommendations of the Senate Inquiry’s final report.